And then my calf went ‘pop’

Oh the embarrassment. Though, Dr Google says it wasn’t my fault.

DHL arranged this really cool party thing in a park over two days where companies could come, barbecue and walk or run a 5K. I signed up to it, not really realising it was a relay and that only the über-sporty would sign up for the running. I’ve done around five 10ks and four 5ks, I am comfortable with this distance and  I know how fast I can do it (not very but that’s not the point, is it?) I sort of thought it would be a nice jog through the park with my friends, where the fast runners would pull away but the slow duffers like me would jog-run around the track together.

Oh how wrong can one person be? It was a relay race and I went last which meant I had to wait until four runners before me had completed their run. They all did it in just over 20 minutes (or something), so I did not have long to wait but it was at least 8.30 pm before my turn.

Because it was a relay, I couldn’t really warm up. I didn’t know when my team mate would appear and I wanted to be ready to grab the baton. So, I was pretty cold when I started.

I took it easy because of that, made sure I paced myself. I did the first kilometer with no issues. Had a walk break. Started up again at my previous pace. My right leg felt a bit sore and I resolved to stretch it at my next walk break in five minutes because I didn’t want to let the team down by running way too slowly. Then my calf went ‘pop’.

There was no pain. At least not in that moment. But I knew there was something wrong because suddenly my right leg was no longer functioning. I pulled over, did some stretches. Nothing. Nothing but pain. The pain started. I tried to walk it off. Lots of pain and limping.

I briefly considered ringing my team and telling them what had happened. Ringing my boyfriend and telling him to pick me up. I thought about it all and then decided against because it was a relay. I hoped to see a medic on the side of the course but because it was only a 5k, there were only stewards. So, I walked. Which was painful and embarrassing because of the limping. Then I ran which was less painful actually but made me feel sick. I got around the course and got to the 4k mark.

I made a decision to run the rest of the way, in case my team mates were around to cheer me on and because it was late and most people would be wanting to get home. I manipulated my body into doing something that was patently against my best interests by convincing myself that it was a cramp that I was freaking out about and reminding myself that I lived through an ectopic pregnancy. That was pain. That was fear. A sore leg? Give me a fucking break.

So, I ran at almost the same pace as I began for one km. All in, I did the 5k in 40 mins which was only 5 mins above my prediction. I got back to my team but was distracted by the pain and then had to fetch my boyfriend so I could get a lift and by the time I found him, everyone wanted to go home. I did get a beer, so it wasn’t a complete bust.

Then as I limped back to the car, I burst into tears and felt very sorry for myself. Similarly, when I tried to exit the car into my house and it had totally frozen up, I bawled with pain and embarrassment. Of course the fatty hurt her leg! What hubris signing up for the running race and not the walking race!

(Found out later, it was probably from over training rather than having a few spare kilos. Certainly my shoes need replacing as a matter of urgency.)

I discovered my calf was swollen and bruised. And all from a tiny ‘snick’ that I didn’t take seriously enough.

The next day, I got ready for school but I couldn’t even walk the length of my flat. I could hobble. I could limp. But I would need to do 1km to the station and possibly another 1km from the bus stop to my school. I couldn’t even take a step with my left leg. So, I had to ring in sick.

My leg is a lot better today, I can limp a lot faster. But it means I have to wait on the running until it is much much better. This is bad because I’ve only just got back into the fitness groove. I guess I can swim or do things that don’t need functioning legs but it is still annoying because running is my favourite.

6 thoughts on “And then my calf went ‘pop’

  1. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear about your leg. Some of my husband’s coworkers competed in that race, but they weren’t taking it nearly as seriously as your teammates did. They were all happy if they did their part in 30 mins and kept saying that it was more about participating than winning. I have to say, even with your injury you did much better than I would have. I am not a fan of running, which may need to change given how important fitness is to the Danish lifestyle! I hope you’re feeling better!


    1. There’s certainly a no-fitness counterculture in Denmark ;) how about that walking with sticks thing? Have you seen that? It’s comedy bronze, silver and gold. It’s like skiing without all that stupid sliding.


      1. lol I’ve definitely seen that, and it’s hilarious. Although you get that in the States as well, from people who are *very serious* about long distance walking. I’ve got to get involved in this anti-fitness counterculture!


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